Album Review: C.N.BLUE – “Bluetory”

Tracklist:
1. 외톨이야 (I’m a Loner)
2. Love Revolution
3. Y, Why…
4. Now Or Never
5. 그럴 겁니다…잊을 겁니다… (I Will…Forget You…)

This is C.N.BLUE’s first Korean mini-album, which was released on January 14, 2010.

Sweet cover. The guys look really handsome in those suits.

~

외톨이야 was such a pleasant surprise! It’s got a funky, jazzy indie rock feel that’s very, very unique compared to what we’ve been seeing in K-Pop lately. There are so many things that make this song different and really refreshing – for one, it’s pop-rock, kind of like the Jonas Brothers only minus the Disney, and then the subtle incorporation of rapping into the song that’s not as overt as most other K-Pop songs. Long story short, if you’re looking for  something different, check this song out!

I really dig Love Revolution. It continues where 외톨이야 left off and digs even deeper into that same indie-rock sound. Starting out with a great guitar riff, it leads off into the first verse which consists of all rapping, and then into the chorus which contains the catchy hook, I need you in my life. Lead singer Yonghwa has a really great voice that’s very well suited to rock music.

Y, Why… is more of a rock ballad than anything. There’s a definite nostalgic, sentimental feeling to it, which is a nice change. Once again, I was impressed by how C.N.BLUE managed to put the rap verse in there without making it sound awkward or out of place, considering this is, first and foremost, a rock song. Either way, this is a great track.

I’m sorry, C.N.BLUE, but…I’m beginning to grow weary of this. Now Or Never, in the same vein as all the songs we’ve heard so far on this mini-album, is an indie-rock track that pulls out all the stops. Now, not to say this isn’t a good song – it is. The simple fact is that it sounds very similar to the other songs on this album and that’s, well, that’s all well and good. But I’m looking for something different now.

Here we have it! 그럴 겁니다…잊을 겁니다… is the first and last true ballad, as well as the longest song by about a minute, on this mini-album. It’s a nice coffee-house acoustic song, and it’s nice, relaxing, and a treat for the ears. I would have liked the placement of the song to be a bit different – as in, it would have been nice if this could have acted as a break between all the rock songs – but it would have sounded good anywhere. A nice way to close out the mini-album.

Summary: If there’s anything we don’t hear very often in the K-Pop scene, it’s rock music, pop-tinged or otherwise. If you’re looking to remedy this absence, then by all means, look into C.N.BLUE. Their guitar-laden sound is especially refreshing amongst a music scene that’s become predominantly electronic. There comes a point where the songs start to sound a little same-y, but the final track on the mini-album takes care of that problem. It’s a great debut in any context, and it excites me to see how much recognition they’re getting.

Album Grade: A

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